Microbiome research and modulation of bacteria in the human body keeps on emerging. Whether it’s about evaluating live bacteria, prebiotics and fiber, or postbiotics, there is a lot of science that needs to be studied. At the same time, there are good chances for product development in this challenging and complex market. Remember that there are many benefits in microbiome research.
The microbiome refers to microorganisms’ collection of the genomes. This includes microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and their RNA, DNA, and proteins. All these can affect the appearance and health outcomes of the host in parts like brain, oral, digestive, thyroid, and skin. The microbiomes of the lungs, gut, and many more have now become research focus areas. This article discusses microbiome research.
Understanding the microbiome
Each environment like rain forests, coral reefs, desert, and woodlands has a unique ecosystem. An ecosystem is considered to be a community of microorganisms. These microorganisms interact with each other and their physical environment, and a balanced and healthy ecosystem can benefit the environment and the organisms.
Just like any other ecosystem, the microbiome is simply a microscopic ecosystem that has yeast, viruses, and bacteria that live inside a human body. Remember that these microbes can live in your stomach, mouth, small intestines, large intestines, skin, urogenital, and many more. And, these different environments can encourage different ecosystems. For instance, microbes that live on your skin can tolerate oxygen while those living in your gut can survive without oxygen.
In most cases, when people speak about the microbiome, they usually refer to the gut microbiome, particularly those that live in the large intestine. This is because this is the largest population of microbes and the most researched. It is also one that has a huge influence on the human’s health.
Humans have evolved with the microbes over many years, so there is a symbiotic relationship with these microbes. These microbes can be passed from generation to generation. That said, your microbiome tends to be entirely unique to you.
There are some key fiber sources that are designed to allow beneficial bacteria populations in the gut to flourish. You should remember that there are several different types of dietary fibers that have prebiotic potential. Most of them are yet to be explored and may have different particle sizes, sugar types, chemical structures, and side chains. Some dietary fibers are found in insoluble matrices while others are isolated.
Besides, you need to determine whether a prebiotic fiber is soluble or insoluble, fermentable or non-fermentable, and its tolerability, but this depends on the fermentation rate. Remember that prebiotic fibers are a diverse and complex group of molecules that can affect the use of microbiome as well as which microbes can end up using the fiber change outcomes.
Engineering dietary fibers can be a key area of focus to make them more accessible to beneficial strains while making them less accessible to competing strains. It’s worth remembering that it’s quite hard to produce a fiber that functions in the same way in all people regardless of the person who takes it. Fibers that are more complex chemically and physically can generate more singular responses in individuals when they are precisely aligned to the particular bacteria that is being promoted. Also, feeding bacteria can manage which microbes that are being fed, with more robust and consistent results.
Prebiotics can also be used to improve the population that is already naturally available in the gut. This provides stability unlike the present prebiotics which can be highly sensitive to oxygen. Also, a mixture of fibers may offer a better balance that supports the entire group of beneficial species in the intestines. The future of prebiotics may include complex fibers that act like probiotics while others can be designed to match and promote the probiotics people ingest.
It’s worth remembering that it’s important to understand the specific nature of microbiomes. This can help in the development of bacterial strains and precision fibers. The good news is that there are several companies that provide microbiome testing and dietary advice.
Blood metabolites are considered to be the final product of the gut microbiome that can affect a person’s physiology. They can be utilized for screening in clinical settings. Therefore, there is a need to emphasize them more so that the clinicians can have the right information they may want before they decide to sequence an individual’s entire gut microbiome. Further, it’s crucial to discover the entire gut metabolites as well as how they may affect health outcomes. This can help to explain the gut’s role when it comes to metabolomics.
The field of psychobiotics is regarded as small but there are some classes of live bacteria that may have mental health benefits. For example, there have been some studies of what is called the gut-brain axis. This is a complex series of relationships that are there between activities in the brain and in the gut.
Research has discovered a variety of rare bacteria that have shown to have mental health benefits in markers of stress like cortisol, and many more. Besides, there are significant differences when it comes to the microbiota of depressed people when compared to healthy people.
The products of microbial activities can enter in a person’s bloodstream and can influence organisms. They are also epigenetic regulators that can influence the behavior of genes. Keep in mind that the gut microbiome has a wide range of activities which can be crucial from a neurological perspective.
For instance, there are some microbes that can synthesize tryptophan, but the human brain fails to store it. Therefore, the brain requires a regular supply which is then converted into serotonin. You should remember that it’s impossible to change the genes yourself, but you can change the genes in your gut microbiome, which is usually like a pseudo-organ because it acts like one. Also, it has a lot of DNA, making this to be a very key health concept.
With the development of microbiome research, there is now a good picture of the role that fermentation and diet play in metabolic diseases. There is a lot more that contributes to metabolic diseases, such as calories density and medications.